Happy 2020! A quick post about what’s new and giving me hope.
What I’m thinking about — Transitions, big and small
A couple of weeks over the threshold of the year, I’m aware of significant transitions awaiting me this year. My son turns 18, setting off a series of administrative and relationship changes in healthcare, social services and daily life. In August I’ll turn 50, which might be a fun milestone or trigger an existential crisis. We’ll see! Either way, it’s a wonderful opportunity to transition out of identities that don’t fit.
On a more mundane level, I’ve also been thinking about how the quality of my presence during transitions between tasks and activities throughout my day, how they set the tone for the actions themselves, the. A little bit more space, a small pause, and a space opens to shift the day from relentless to spacious. I’ve been experimenting using timers and blocking off travel time on my calendar. I’ll keep you posted. Please share your tips and thoughts.
What I’m working on — Co-producing healthcare conferences with patients
I’m helping to plan the BMJ/IHI International Forum for Quality and Safety taking place in Copenhagen in April, and a similar national conference here in Sweden in November. Having people in the room with lived experience brings new resources, much needed energy and fresh ideas. It also requires designing new processes for things like financial support and selecting abstracts to promote collaboration. It’s hard work but great fun, and we’ve come a long way in just a few years. Feel free to reach out if you are thinking of how to co-produce your own events with patients—from big conferences to small projects.
What I’m reading — The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible
By Charles Eisenstein. I’ve mentioned Eisenstein in recent posts, and how his on-line courses and talks are challenging my thinking as a change agent. Some a-ha moments from this book: the intersectionality of massive societal sector change. Is it a coincidence that our health care system is under massive pressure to change at the same time our educational, ecological, agricultural, political and financial systems are also collapsing and being reborn? If so, maybe some of our healthcare-specific solutions, however radical, are still too small. Another belief I’m starting to question: a “good” change agent always aims for big change, at scale. If you want a fresh take on activism and change, check it the book or his website or listen to his talk with Oprah on her Super Soul Sunday.
What I’m finding helpful — Team Canvas Basic
I’ve kicked off three projects in recent weeks using a simple visualization tool and process called Team Canvas. In about an hour – and sometimes much less – we’ve connected as a team, outlined our shared purpose, values and goals, laid down some agreements and uncovered hidden talents among team members. The process feels quick and agile, and even the most diehard “Can’t we just start working?” among us seem to feel that it’s worth the time. Download the template and check out the instructions here.
After spending years coordinating healthcare and other services for my son, I now lead and support initiatives in which patients and their families, clinicians and policy makers collaborate to create better health and care. I welcome you to join in an on-going conversation about healing health care by subscribing to this blog, in which I write regularly about the experience of living in a complex special needs family and working to create and support change, or by connecting on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Feature photo by Beatriz Beltrame